Agronomy

Agronomy

The Research and Development Activities of Agronomy Division focuses on the introduction of novel, appropriate and cost effective crop establishment and management practices for tea cultivation in order to enhance land productivity, effective use of labour, conservation of soil, water and environment and improvements of made tea quality. The Division also undertakes screening of new herbicides and suitability testing of machineries used for field operations and conducts field training programmes on key agronomic practices such as mechanization of harvesting and pruning.

Key Research Areas

  • Nursery management techniques
  • Improvement of land productivity through agronomic practices (soil rehabilitation techniques, studies on soil quality and fertility improvement, irrigation and water management, new shade tree species)
  • Integrated weed management strategies
  • Improvement of worker productivity through mechanization of field operations (Developing, modifying and evaluating mechanical devices used for field operations)
  • Assessment of the impact of global climate change on land productivity and adaptation strategies
  • Agronomic practices for establishment and management of energy plantation in tea estates
Major Achievements

  • Introduction of the innovative TRI Shear Harvester for which a patent was obtained (1998). This shear harvester was also awarded a  gold medal for the best innovation at the International Exhibition of Innovations, Geneva, Switzerland (2000)
  • Introduction of the TRI Selective Tea Harvester-1998 (Presidential award for best inventions, 2000 & Gold medal for the best innovation at the International Exhibition of Innovations, Geneva, Switzerland, 2000)
  • Introduction of an innovative tea plucking basket (Presidential Award, 2002)
  • Designing and patenting a hand pruner
  • Introduction of Hybrid Napier (CO3) grass for soil rehabilitation before replanting
  • Introduction of Derris spp as a high shade tree in tea
  • Introduction of Bio-Film Bio-Fertilizer for tea nurseries
  • Introduction of synthetic agriculture mulch for young tea lands for weed control and moisture conservation
  • Introduction of irrigation techniques for tea
  • Identification of tea growing regions vulnerable to climate change and adaptation strategies
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